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Translucent Bright Blue Afghanite

The Mineral afghanite




Afghanite is a rare and coveted mineral with a striking blue color, first identified in 1968. With a very close resemblance to Lazurite, and occurring together in the same deposits, Afghanite is distinguished by its unique crystal habit. Afghanite is named after its most significant locality in northern Afghanistan.
Chemical Formula (Na,Ca,K)8Al6Si6O24(Cl2,SO4,CO3)3 · 0.5H2O
Composition Hydrous silicate of sodium, calcium, and potassium, with chloride, carbonate, and sulfate radicals
Color Light to dark blue. Microcrystals from Italy may be be white, colorless, or light yellow.
Streak White
Hardness 5.5 - 6
Crystal System Hexagonal
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
In wide or elongated prismatic crystals with partial or stepped pyramidal terminations. Occasionally doubly terminated as bypyramidal crystals. Also as distorted crystal groups, as tabular microcrystals, grainy, and encrusting.
Transparency Translucent to Opaque
Specific Gravity 2.5 - 2.6
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 1, All
Fracture Conchoidal to uneven
Tenacity Brittle
Other ID Marks Often fluorescent yellow to orange in longwave ultraviolet light.
In Group Silicates; Tectosilicates; Feldspathoid Group
Striking Features Color, crystal habit, and locality
Environment In Lazurite veins in metamorphosed limestones.
Rock Type Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 2


Afghanite ON EBAY



USES
Afghanite is strictly used as a rare collectors mineral.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
Afghanite is a rare mineral, with the only significantly important deposit being Sar-e Sang, Kokcha Valley, in Badakshan Province, Afghanistan, where it forms large and beautiful crystals that are almost always embedded on a white marble matrix. Small crusts of Afghanite occur in the vicinity of Slyudyanka, near the southern area of Lake Baikal, and white and colorless microcrystals in the vicinity of Vico Lake, near Viterbo, Italy.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Calcite, Lazurite, Pyrite, Diopside, Muscovite, Forsterite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Lazurite - Forms in different crystals; has blue streak and poor cleavage.


afghanite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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